Thursday, September 26, 2013

Toyota expands Ha:mo electric vehicle sharing service .MOTO [VIDEO]

It’s not just Nissan that is expanding car club trials of new electric quadricycles. Rival Toyota has now also announced it is to expand its fleet of single-seat Auto Body COMS electric vehicles currently operating as part of the Ha:mo vehicle sharing service in Toyota City in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan.
First launched in October 2012, the Ha:mo Ride service is an urban transport solution designed to enable commuters to combine public and private mobility solutions, with electric vehicles providing short-distance- or last mile-transportation options.
The carmaker also plans to introduce its i-Road motorcycle-inspired electric vehicle into the service from early 2014. First unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, the i-Road is a Renault Twizy style rival, only it rides on three wheels and uses something called ‘Active Lean’ technology for a ride closely modelled on a motorbike.
The current fleet of ten Auto-Body COMS vehicles will grow from 10 to 100 by mid-October, with 45 additional vehicles arriving from next week (October 1, 2013). Additionally the vehicles will be updated to make access and operation keyless.
Fifty two Yamaha Motor PAS-power assisted bicycles-will also be added to the service, increasing from a current fleet of 10.
A ‘two-way’ style of service, the vehicles are available to rent from one of four vehicles stations, with users not required to return the vehicle to its original station, but to an available charging location. To make things even easier for users, the number of stations will increase by another 13 by October 1, 2013, increasing to 21 locations from mid-October.
The new stations will be located near main train stations, major public facilities, commercial facilities and Toyota Manufacturing offices in Toyota City where use by large numbers of commuters is expected.
To verify the commercial feasibility of such a service, a use-based fee system will be introduced on October 1, with no membership or monthly charges. For use of a COMS electric vehicle, the fee will be 200 JPY for the first 10 minutes of use and 20 JPY for each additional minute thereafter.
Users will be able to make reservations to use Ha:mo Ride by accessing the Ha:mo Ride smart phone application.
The Auto Body COMS electric vehicle is a open-sided, four seat quadricyle with a range of around 31 miles per charge, a top speed of 37 mph and a recharge time of six hours.
Inspired by the COMS, the i-Road is a three-wheel electric vehicle, fitted with a lilthium ion battery and two 2 kW motors fitted to the front wheels, for a range of 31 miles per charge and a top speed of 28 mph. Recharging from a conventional power supply takes just three hours.